What to Do With All That Halloween Candy, That is the Question.

by lnmorrow

We are healthy eaters.  That said, nothing is more depressing than a Halloween bag full of nuts and raisins.  Holidays are a magical time and kids count down every minute until it’s time to celebrate.  Discussions on healthy eating and how sugar rots your teeth all have a proper time and place, but please don’t make Halloween one of them.  Smart parents are successful at minimizing the amount of candy their child eats, without dumping the whole bag in the garbage while their child cries her eyes out.  If candy is kept to a minimum throughout the year, than it will be easier to ration when Halloween comes around.

One of our favorite things to do on Halloween is dump out all the loot and sort through it.  My boys do not eat a lot of candy, so the heap of shiny wrappers and bright colorful sugar is mind-blowing.  We let them pick out some pieces and while they are chowing down we talk about all our favorite costumes and decorated houses.  This keeps the focus on the holiday rather than the candy.  The next day after the sugar high dies down, I remind them of the awesome gingerbread houses we get to make soon.  I am a big advocate for children being internally motivated to make good decisions, so I like to ask them what pieces they think would look great on our houses.  Excitement quickly ensues and they are fast to collect candy corn, lollipops, licorice, taffy, spiraled peppermint candy, sweet tarts, and pixie sticks.  We put all those pieces in a *gingerbread* bag and, voila, half the candy is gone in no time.  No dumping, taking away, bargaining, or tears.

Another way to prepare ahead of time is to find a few craft projects online that use candy.  Have them printed so you are armed and ready to show them to your kids once they have their candy.  If they like them, you can use the same tactic.  If you still want to get rid of more, ask your kids if they want to decorate a paper bag and they can select pieces of candy to give away; perhaps to the mailman, yard professionals, grandparents, or to a neighbor who does not have children.  The key is to make it your child’s choice to share or use their candy for another purpose.

There are good alternatives to giving out candy, here are a few that kids love; temporary tattoos, glow sticks, change, little platic spiders, and bouncy balls that look like eyeballs.  Stores have a ton of little trinkets this year that have a Halloween theme.  Fun treats with less sugar than candy, include; yogurt covered pretzels, fruit roll-ups, organic lollipops, and popcorn balls.

Do you have any other suggestions?  We would love to hear them!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!